Bayern Munich coach Hansi Flick has fuelled the expectation that Philippe Coutinho will not be returning to the Allianz Arena next season by declaring that he ‘can’t say’ what will happen to the Brazilian midfielder beyond the end of this campaign.
Coutinho is on a season-long loan at Bayern from Barcelona, having seen a dream €160m transfer to Camp Nou in January 2018 turn sour within a matter of months.
The German champions took him on a temporary deal last summer that does include a €120m option to buy. But it has long been thought that Bayern would not be triggering that clause, even before coronavirus impacted football finances around the world, and now Flick has given further suggestion to underline that stance in Bavaria.
All that Flick is looking for from Coutinho is to return to action in the short-term after undergoing ankle surgery last month.
“I can’t say what will happen with him after the season,” Flick is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
“Philippe is a good guy and an excellent footballer. I really enjoy working with him. We hope he can be back with us again soon and play some games before the end of the season.”
Coutinho, who was absent as Bayern beat Union Berlin on the return of the Bundesliga on Sunday, has been linked with a number of clubs as the uncertainty of his future grows.
The Premier League has formed a significant part on rumours concerning his next club. A return to Liverpool isn’t going to be an option for him, but Chelsea and Newcastle, the latter hoping a takeover will soon be completed, have been heavily linked.
Agent Kia Joorabchian told talkSPORT last week that a transfer is not a pressing issue for now given the impact the coronavirus crisis has had on football.
“I think, at the moment everyone’s concentration is on this pandemic, and how football can restart in a safe and secure environment and the health of safety of everybody,” Joorabchian said.
“The transfer side of things, and where Philippe will go, or where other players will go, will come into play further down the line when things have got back to some sort of normality.”
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